I was emailed yesterday by a friend who said, “Are you OK?”. I replied, “Yes, why would you ask?” Her response made me laugh, “You haven’t blogged for a few days.” Oh my, I thought to myself. People are actually reading this! So to all of you that are faithful readers and have been disappointed for the lack of posts recently, my apologies and a sincere thank you for your attention. This post will explain to you where I have been all weekend. Certainly not meant to excuse or justify my lack of attention; but instead my hope is to inspire you.
My home office is a sunny room over the garage. When we first moved here Andrew and my Dad installed a beautiful french door that opens into a much larger room that we now use as a tv room. We painted both rooms a chocolate brown back in 2007 and at the time it felt warm and inviting to me. The rooms original purpose was to be a yoga space, a craft room, as well as my home office. (I was lucky to be able to work from home a few days a week.) The room looked exactly like it’s purpose – almost fighting to be who it wanted to be at any given moment. Kind of reminds me of when I was little and I shared a room with my sister. We had very different personalities and there was a time that we even taped a line in the middle distinguishing our individual space. My office had this energy that said, “Who do you want to be today?” And whatever energy I chose the other energies would subtly scream, “Hey! Look at me!”. You see, one entire wall contains a builtin bookcase. I have managed to fill it to overflowing with books about yoga, meditation, mindfulness, project management, leadership, scrapbooking, etc., etc. The walls were covered in things that inspired me but there were so many they just didn’t. Now that I am “retired” and spending so much more time in this space I realized I felt physically anxious when I entered the room. Everything seemed to be screaming – “Pay attention to me! Read me! Finish me!”.
That is when I reached out to my very talented friend, SaraH, and said, “Please, help me.” SaraH has this incredible ability to design a room that tells a story. A room that just begs you to sit and soak yourself into it’s prose. There is not one inch of her house that has not been touched by her magic (in part thanks to a very large tree landing itself on top of the house!). Every single room has a unique energy. Every single room has SaraH’s fingerprint. She not only designs the rooms but she is the queen of DIY. With her unique ability to take really, really expensive looks and make them attainable, in your very own home. (You know that feeling, while perusing the latest issue of Real Simple magazine – to which I strongly believe there is nothing ever real or simple offered – and you see a lamp that would be perfect for your bedside table… your eyes travel down to the small print $1,350! Seriously????) SaraH has vision and she is able to weed through so much information and steer you down the path you were looking for. I joke that she is like the “Garanimals” of designers. Do you remember Garanimals? They were the outfits at Sear’s that you could match all by yourself at age 5 because the articles that matched had matching pictures of animals. Why don’t they bring those back for adults? Sorry. Sorry. Focus. Part of SaraH’s process to to troll Pinterest, design magazines and blogs for ideas. Then she, what seems to me, effortlessly, pulls them all together in a You Can Do This way.
The process started with a questionnaire. Her questions were meant to draw out of me my story. Or maybe it was to draw out what I want my story to be vs what my story currently is… Anyway, after she reviewed my responses we had a few follow-up discussions. She then sent me several photos asking me which ones resonated which allowed her to further hone in what my style was. Then she offered several suggestions. Each of her insights just clicked with me. I kept thinking exactly! This is exactly what I wanted it to look like! It is magical. To start – new paint colors to brighten the room up and at the same time give me a blank canvas to display my precious items (on a limited basis) with the ability to change things out when I want to. Creating an accent wall that brings in a wood element (this is going to be stunning!). There were other ideas but I will save them for later posts. This weekend however, she set me to the task of cleaning out the room. I mean completely cleaning the room out to the point of emptiness! I spent the entire weekend executing the KonMari method of organizing and simplifying. This method was introduced to us by Marie Kondo who wrote the book The Life-Changing Method of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing and most recently the follow up book Spark Joy. The method really invites you to keep only the items that spark joy when you see and hold them. What to do with the rest? You thank each item for its role in your past, bless it and let it go. Needless to say my Craigslist account has never seen so much action. The swap shop at the dump is now thriving from my frequent deposits.
I am starting totally fresh. I see this fresh start in the photo above. I took it Friday after the snowstorm ended and the sun came bursting out. Big, bright, here I am… I am ready for my new story.
p.s. Not to worry, when the room is finished I will show you before and after photos of the transition of my happy space.